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Politics of the United States
Mr. Reily's AP American Gov
Week 1: Important Terms
Terms in this set (58)
a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
A form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives
A system of government in which citizens elect representatives, or leaders, to make decisions about the laws for all the people.
A government that enforces recognized limits on those who govern and allows the voice of the people to be heard through free, fair, and relatively frequent elections.
advocacy of a system of government according to constitutional principles
The idea that the rights of the nation are supreme over the rights of the individuals who make up the nation.
The idea that a just government must derive its powers from the consent of the people it governs.
the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group
(elections) more than half of the votes, the property resulting from being or relating to the greater in number of two parts
(in an election with more than 2 options) the number of votes for the candidate or party receiving the greatest number (but less that half of the votes)
Democratic and civic habits of discussion, compromise, and respect for differences, which grow out of participation in voluntary organizations.
an orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group or nation
the belief in government by divine guidance, a political unit governed by a deity (or by officials thought to be divinely guided)
Articles of Confederation
a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states
A convention held in September 1786 to consider problems of trade and navigation, attended by five states and important because it issued the call to Congress and the states for what became the Constitutional Convention
The meeting of state delegates in 1787 in Philadelphia called to revise the Articles of Confederation. It instead designed a new plan of government, the US Constitution.
Rebellion led by Daniel Shays of farmers in western Massachusetts in 1786-1787, protesting mortgage foreclosures. It highlighted the need for a strong national government just as the call for the Constitutional Convention went out.
The principle of a two-house legislature
Virginia delegate James Madison's plan of government, in which states got a number of representatives in Congress based on their population
New Jersey Plan
New Jersey delegate William Paterson's plan of government, in which states got an equal number of representatives in Congress
Compromise agreement by states at the Constitutional Convention for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in which representation would be based on population and an upper house in which each state would have two senators
the decision at the Constitutional convention to count slaves as 3/5 of a person for the purpose of deciding the population and determining how many seats each state would have in Congress
Supporters of the Constitution that were led by Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. They firmly believed the national government should be strong. They didn't want the Bill of Rights because they felt citizens' rights were already well protected by the Constitution.
opponents of a strong central government who campaigned against the ratification of the Constitution in favor of a confederation of independant states
series of essays promoting ratification of the Constitution, published anonymously by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in 1787 and 1788
the concept that there is a universal order built into nature that can guide moral thinking
Separation of power
The division of a central government into two or more branches, each having its own responsibilities and authorities.
Checks and balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
Governance divided between the parties, as when one holds the presidency and the other controls one or both houses of Congress.
a primary where voters directly select the candidates who will run for office
Procedure whereby a certain number of voters may, by petition, propose a law or constitutional amendment and have it submitted to the voters
The name given to the political process in which the general public votes on an issue of public concern.
the act of removing an official by petition
the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional
Writ of mandamus
written order from a court to enforce the performance of some public duty
a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office
a rule issued by the president that has the force of law
The power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security.
the mutual support and cooperation enabled by a social network
The widely shared beliefs, values, and norms concerning the relationship of citizens to government and to one another.
a form of government in which power is divided between the federal, or national, government and the states
a government that gives all key powers to the national or central government
a political system in which a weak central government has limited authority, and the states have ultimate power., a joining of several groups for a common purpose
Powers specifically granted to one of the branches of the national government by the Constitution.
powers that congress has that are not stated explicitly in the constitution
Necessary and proper clause
Constitutional clause that gives congress the power to make all laws "necessary and proper" for executing its powers
Powers the Constitution is presumed to have delegated to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community
The section of the Constitution in which Congress is given the power to regulate trade among the states and with foreign countries.
A requirement the federal government imposes as a condition for receiving federal funds.
Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.
Full faith and credit clause
Constitution's requirement that each state accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state
The legal process by which a fugitive from justice in one state is returned to that state
an agreement between two or more states
Constitutional doctrine that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the federal government prevail.
The right of a federal law or regulation to preclude enforcement of a state or local law or regulation.
people who favor national action over action at the state and local levels.
people who favor state or local action rather than national action.
federal sharing of a fixed percentage of its revenue with the states
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